Mexico’s Third Gender
The video above highlights the muxe population in the city of Juchitan, Oaxaca in Mexico and also highlights an annual celebration in November called the Vigil of the Authentic Intrepid Searchers of Danger, which is a grand ball and where a queen is selected and crowned by the mayor.
The New York Times published an article called “A Lifestyle Distinct: the Muxe of Mexico”in 2008 that highlights the muxe culture, starting off with the fact that Mexico as a whole is not known for being open about homosexuality.
In the city of Juchitan, there are men, women, and muxes. Muxes are male assigned at birth, raised a women, and live as women all their lives. Muxes are the third gender in the city and the acceptance in the area can be traced back to pre-Colombian Mexico. There are accounts of Aztec priest crossdressing and Mayan gods who were male and female at the same time. However, this was relatively squashed out when the Spanish came in the 1500s and forced conversion to Catholicism. The traditions of muxes remained, as the area around Juchitan remains fairly traditional still.
Each muxe can identify and express differently. Some will dress as women and take hormones, while others will still wear male clothes. However, most will take on traditional female roles and will sell in the market, embroider, and cook at home. There are some that will become sex workers.